Van Gaal saw his side secure their spot at Brazil 2014 with a 2-0 win away to Andorra on Tuesday, topping Group D of UEFA's qualifying section.
The Dutch struggled in the game, only breaking the deadlock in the second half, but Robin van Persie's double ultimately proved to be enough after Romania were defeated by Turkey in Bucharest.
Netherlands have only failed to win one game in their campaign, Friday's 2-2 draw against Estonia.
But Van Gaal has set low expectations for his side, insisting that he is not looking for them to replicate 2010's run to the final in South Africa.
"There is now a World Cup and you have to perform well there," he said.
"We have a very young team with a few older players, I hope we can get past the first round."
Match-winner Van Persie echoed his manager's sentiments, admitting that the side have plenty of work to be done before the tournament.
"We've qualified, that's step one," the Manchester United man said.
"Now we have to start working toward the World Cup."
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